Malaysians in Thailand rush home to avoid being placed under quarantine

Many travellers in Thailand have decided to bring forward their flights to avoid being placed under quarantine under the new movement control order being enforced from Wednesday. (Bernama pic)

BANGKOK: Many Malaysians working or on holiday in Thailand scrambled to book the next flight to Malaysia after a two-week nationwide movement control order from tomorrow was announced in the country due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Many Malaysians rushed to airports early morning to make sure they got back home by today to avoid being slapped with the 14 day self-quarantine order.

An employee based in Pattaya, Low Ban Ching, travelled 150km to Bangkok today to catch the next flight home to Malaysia.

“I read messages from friends and family members back home about the movement control order.

“I realised I need to be back in Malaysia by today. If not, I have to undergo health checks and self-quarantine for 14 days.

“Luckily, I managed to book a ticket from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur,” he told Bernama when met at the Suvarnabhumi Airport today.

Meanwhile, a project-based employee, who only wanted to be known as Kah Yee, said she decided to fly home as the movement control order created uncertainty for travellers.

“I’m not sure whether there will be another extension after March 31. I made a quick decision to fly home today to beat the deadline,” she said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin  declared that Malaysia would be placed under the nationwide movement control order from March 18-31 to control the spread of Covid-19.

Muhyiddin said it also involves a comprehensive restriction on all Malaysians travelling abroad. Those returning from overseas are required to undergo a health check and to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The restriction also covers the entry of all foreign tourists and visitors into the country and also bars Malaysians from leaving the country.

A businessman, who gave his name as Thomas, 56, said he decided to bring forward his return ticket to get home before the deadline.

“I want to be home before the order goes into effect. I prefer to go back to Malaysia,” he said.

Australian couple, Rosemary and David, who will transit in Kuala Lumpur before flying to Sydney, said they decided to fly before the March 18 deadline.

“We read about Malaysia’s movement control order. We are not sure whether it will affect our flight.

“But we do not want to take any risks. That’s why we are flying home early,” he said.